November 1, 2012
In this week’s Martha Jefferson Healthwise report CBS19’s Stephanie Satchell takes a look at asthma, how to know if you have it, and the dangers of leaving it untreated.
Asthma is a medical condition that is growing every year in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control it currently affects 18.7 million adults and 7 million children.
“It's a condition or disease that your airways become inflamed or swollen which causes them to narrow and that might cause you to have some difficulty breathing. Once the airway gets swollen then you can also have airway tightening which further narrows the airways and it can also become kind of clogged with mucus,” said Cynthia Traver, Cardio Pulmonary Specialist, Martha Jefferson Hospital.
Traver says there are a couple of options for treatment. Those include medications in the form of a pill or an inhaler. She also says it's also best to avoid triggers like respiratory infection, the cold air, dry air, hot air, pollen, dust mites, mold and certain odors.
If left untreated, Traver says asthma could harm your lungs.
“Asthma can really cause some changes in the lungs that really don't quite go back to normal,” said Traver.”
Traver says it’s important to have a plan of action. Also make sure that you see your doctor for testing to keep track of your asthma's progression and to make sure it's not getting worse.